It’s early in the morning at the Phoenix Zoo and the animals are quiet. Little do they know that, in a few short minutes, thousands of human beings – in flip flops, no less! – are about to invade these zoo creatures’ peaceful sanctuary.
That’s how things started last Saturday at UMOM New Day Center’s 11th Annual Walk to End Homelessness sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. A total of 2,668 of those special humans turned out for the event, making this year’s walk the largest ever!
The added attraction: because 1,942 walkers hit their stride in flip flops , UMOM broke the Guinness World Record for the largest walk in the specialty foot attire. It’s a unique honor, since UMOM set the record just last year during the 10th Annual event.
UMOM CEO Darlene Newsom was overwhelmed by the turnout and by the outcome. “We raised approximately $150,000, which is also a record for us for this event. It was great fun, but more importantly, lives are changed when people come together for this cause.” She added, “The money raised supports shelter, housing and services for families, children, youth and single women. In most cases, these are people who are working hard to pick themselves up and get back into basic housing. But they are caught in a financial squeeze that too often leaves them with no home, no job and no help. Because of the people who came out to walk today, we can give these families, kids and women the assistance they need to emerge from homelessness and return to being productive, participating members of the community.”
Walkers were able to raise money as individuals or as a team.
Top individual fundraisers were:
- Rachel Davis-Schultz
- Gregg Strickland
- Franci Alberding
- Jessica Tomamichel, and
- Bill Dougherty.
The top team fundraisers were:
- American Express
- Nunns Construction
- Willowbrook Walkers
- First UMC Gilbert, and
- Willis Towers Watson.
From all of us at UMOM, THANK YOU to everyone who participated! And for those who couldn’t make it on Saturday, please know you can support our efforts anytime by visiting https://umom.org/donate/ to make your gift.
SAVE THE DATE: Put some spring in your step and help end homelessness!
Our 12th Annual Walk the Walk to End Homelessness will be on
April 18, 2020 at the Phoenix Zoo!